Fitness Tips from the Experts: Zumba® At A Glance

By Terri Canis


Zumba® classes are Latin-based dance routines led by fitness instructors.  A participant can expect to burn on average between 500 and 800 calories per class depending on fitness level and class intensity.  Tracie Sanderlin and Sara Brendel are two St Louis Zumba instructors that discovered the benefits of Zumba classes through vastly different journeys.

Tracie wanted to find a fitness workout that she would enjoy.  She first tried Zumba in April 2008 and took one class per week.   By September, she was taking 3-4 classes per week.  After meeting her personal weight loss goal of 200 pounds in 2009, she also reached her professional goal of becoming a licensed Zumba instructor.  A year later, Tracie became an AquaZumba® instructor.

Tracie thanks her 3 year old son Alex for inspiring her to become involved in the field of exercise.  She was at her heaviest weight of 372 pounds.  Ultimately, Tracie credits Zumba and its weight loss benefits for the birth of her healthy second son.

A dancer all her life, Sara, a certified Zumba Fitness Instructor started her Zumba journey in June 2009.  She initially worked as a dancer traveling with cruise ships and production shows.  After returning to St. Louis, her sister insisted that she take a Zumba class with her.  Sara was reluctant at first.  However, by the end of the first song, she was hooked!

Sara expressed how challenging and intimidating it can be getting to a gym.  That’s why she says, “Zumba is a perfect workout for anyone looking to get into or back into a routine.  The music and easy to follow dance moves makes Zumba a fun workout and leaves you wanting more.”

Tracie explains that the attractiveness of Zumba is that routines can be tailor made to meet one’s needs.  The individual has a high or low impact option.   For Sara, the effective outcome of Zumba Fitness lies with its ability to tone “in disguise”.  She explains that the hip circles and arm choreography provide full body toning without ever doing a push up.

Tracie and Sarah are in agreement that to participate in a Zumba class, one need not be well-coordinated; rather one should have a love for music and dance!

To find Zumba classes around town, visit: www.stlexercise.com.

Tracie: zumbatracie@yahoo.com , Sara: brendel.sara@gmail.com.